A Year of Savings: 2013
August 1: Not a whole lot of savings going on...Nor a lot of spending. We had leftovers for our dinner again today. Aside from some very light housework, I rested, drank lots of fluids and look forward to soon being recovered. Shopped at home for milk, bread, coffees (decaf and regular), garlic, orange juice, olive oil and soda. Love my pantry! All items bought on sale at the best prices and no trip to town necessary when I feel bad.
Noted dogs nor cat are finishing food in their bowls each day. I decreased by 1/4 cup for the cat, 1/2 cup for the dogs. They ate every single bite. I'll get a few extra servings of food out of each bag of food.
August 2: Up early to bake Challah for Shabat tonight. Made two loaves, one for this week, one for next. Grocery store prices went up on the loaves we have been buying occasionally, to $3.99. Savings $7.25.
Thawed milk, orange juice, meat for today's meal, and an entree for tomorrow in sink overnight. I put all items in my nice heavy duty insulated bag, in the sink. All were still icy but thawing this morning, just as I'd hoped.
Broiled steak for lunch. I'd meant to cut the still icy steak in half and put half in the freezer. Failure on my part. I cooked the whole steak, cut in half after cooking and put half up in the fridge right away. No temptation to eat more and we had plenty of steak for our meal. Savings $4.
Scraped plates and saved meat juices from cooking steak to pour over dog food tomorrow morning.
Pared peaches and put them in the freezer. Another 6 cups (3 packages) added. Savings $2.
August 3: Shabat rest for me today. I'm determined to rest well and get over this cold quickly. Took time to go through some of my vintage magazines. A few are in pristine condition and some are most definitely not...but there are lovely advertisements of some very familiar products. Looked up the ads online and realized I could sell a few of them to earn a bit of extra cash. I set aside the poorest magazines to cull ads. I paid about $5 for each magazine and one good ad in any of them is valued at about $10.
Sat down and wrote out a list of leftover makeovers for foods I knew I had on hand in the fridge at present. I came up with enough makeovers to stretch our main dishes by another week! That's about $2 per meal, savings $10.
No need to make dessert. Our daughter in law brought in a refrigerator cake early this week. I sliced the last of it for our dessert today.
August 4: Went to work on the fridge this morning. Cleaned it well, organized it and determined what needed to be used right away and what just needed to be tossed. I had a small amount of waste: half a ball of fresh mozzarella (loss -$1.15), 1/2 container of hummus that expired last week (loss -$1). Negatives like that make me determined to USE all my foodstuffs, and though I've not had a lot of food waste in the past several months, it still rankles to throw away money.
That 1/2 steak I put away two days ago: I sliced it today and divided the slices into two portions. I made four burritos with cooked onions, cheese and enchilada sauce and put the other portion with cooked onions and some frozen bell peppers in the freezer for a second meal later. I just increased my savings by $2, stretching that steak a bit further.
Thawed 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef this morning. I mixed 1 pound with a bit of leftover bread stuffing, an egg, some onion and tomato sauce. That made up into 27 good sized meatballs for the freezer. The other 1/2 pound of beef was mixed with about half the leftover rice I'd thawed and I stuffed 5 bell peppers halves with that. That too went into the freezer. I figure I'll get 2 meals off the bell peppers, 4 meals from the meatballs. Normally we'd eat 1/2 pound of beef for a meal, so I've doubled savings again: $5.99.
Cooked four chicken breasts with the root end of celery, the root ends and tops of onions I used for cooking today, a very oddly shaped carrot and a bay leaf. I used two of the breasts to make up sandwich filling for John's work lunch (savings $3.69, the cost of luncheon meat. I got a total of 6 sandwiches from this mixture). The other two breasts were coarsely chopped and put in the strained broth. I'll make a meal for dinner from that tomorrow.
One of John's co-workers brought in a few tomatoes, onions, and peppers in July. John brought some home and we enjoyed them mightily. When he returned to work there were quite a few little tiny marble and ping pong ball sized onions left. He brought them home to me. I set aside to dry well. I cut off tops and root ends and peeled this morning and bagged them. I had about 1 pint of baby onions. I put them in the freezer to use to make stew this fall. I can almost taste that good stew with mushrooms and potatoes and those sweet little onions...Savings $3.99 what I paid for the last baby onions I bought, in about the same amount.
Made my own version of Spanish Rice from the last of the rice to with our dinner today...It was edible, but not the most flavorful dish I've ever made. No waste, though.
Worked a bit more on a project I've been waiting to finish for about a month. I couldn't afford to buy the paint I wanted to finish off the project. I decided to use what I have and I like it very well. Savings $4.29.
Refurbished an old piece I've enjoyed with the rest of the can of paint. I like it all over again...
August 5: Tomorrow is Harvest Day. I spent an hour this morning getting the bill box in shape (stamps on envelopes, return address labels, my little record book brought up to date, bringing forward the bank balance, etc.).
I made a batch of biscuits for breakfast (and snacks) this morning. Savings $1.09, the cost of canned biscuits.
John requested I make Chicken Noodles for dinner instead of dumplings. That was a less expensive meal and the leftovers will reheat well for supper later this week. (*I got three meals from this batch of chicken and noodles...Savings $6 the cost of 3 cans of not quite as thick and nowhere near as good sale priced soup).
John enjoyed the biscuits I made this morning...I enjoyed a couple of them toasted for my supper this evening. It was the sort of comfort food I wanted for this evening.
August 6: Harvest Day. That extra shift John worked last week plumped up the regular pay check very nicely. I was very careful that we'd spend just what we'd normally have come in though. I wanted to plump the account balance up once again. It made for a good start.
Paid $80 extra on the loan for the car. That will save interest.
Went to town to mail off bills, pay a few in person and then headed to the next town to do banking. I'd meant to have a 'fun' day for myself (or at least a fun hour) but I did not feel good. I decided the most fun thing I could do would be to pick up takeout for dinner and skip the whole 'make a meal, wash the dishes' routine. I paid $15 for Chinese takeout. I put half the entree and a box of rice into the freezer for a future meal. Savings $7.50.
Went into dollar store for some essentials, none of which I found in stock. I came out with a lot less than I went in for (and more money in my pocket than I'd anticipated I'd have, too). Bought 4 composition books for $2. Savings $2.
Noted I still had half a tank of gas in my car. That's another area where I 'work to save'. Savings $25.00
Came home and allowed myself some lengthy rest spells between little spurts of housework.
August 7: John meant to mow today but we had rain from morning until afternoon. I didn't have to water my flowers. Oh and the tomatoes have blooms!
I made Pigs in Blankets for our dinner. Where we might be tempted to eat more if I'd simply boiled or fried them, two of these made with homemade biscuit dough are very filling. Savings $2.59 (the cost of a can of crescent rolls, plus half the cost of a the package of hotdogs.)
Shopped at home: flour, baking powder, soda, baking soda, coffee...
We had leftover chicken noodle soup for supper. See my note on August 5.